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tv   CBS Evening News With Katie Couric  CBS  January 26, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm EST

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>> couric: tonight, for the first time, congresswoman giffords is in good condition and out of intensive care, and a trail of clues -- what her attacker reportedly was searching for online. i'm katie couric. also, from the state of the union to the state of wisconsin it's president showcases innovation he calls vital to our economy, even as it's threatened by a new ocean of red ink. out of money-- municipal budgets crushed by an avalanche of winter storms. and drawing on their own artistic talent to help children in need. >> good job! captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news world headquarters in new york, this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric.
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>> couric: good evening, everyone. nearly three weeks after arizona congresswoman gabrielle giffords was shot in the head, her doctors are growing ever more optimistic about the pace of her recovery. for the first time since she was critically wounded, she is out of intensive care and listed in good condition. sheeches moved today to a rehab center, and she has already started therapy there. meanwhile, there's a new report today about some disturbing internet searches by the gunman leading up to the shooting. here's don teague. >> reporter: her husband gave a big thumbs up as the ambulance carrying gabrielle giffords made the short drive from memorial hospital to a rehabilitation facility. the move, surrounded by at least two dozen police officers, came just hours after doctors upgraded giffords' condition from serious to good. >> we have noticed daily improvements in her neurological condition. we're very pleased with that. and in thames of recovery for brain issues, this is really at
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lightning speed. >> reporter: giffords had been kept in the hospital's intensive care unit because of excess fluid crank from her brain, the result of a gunshot wound suffered in an attempted assassination january 8. doctors say that situation is now under control. >> the issue with the fluid drank for the last few days, how has that resolved. >> it resolved spontaneously with a little bit of help from the drain. >> reporter: giffords received daily physical therapy, even in the i.c.u. doctors say she has good vision and is able to sit, stand, and communicate with others. a breathing tube in her throat prevents her from speaking but that may soon change. doctors plan to install a special speaking valve. she still suffers weakness on her right side, but doctors no longer call it paralysis. through four to six hours of day of therapy, they expect continued, rapid progress. >> she's weak about as much as you and i are, so, like, anybody else, after a long day of physical therapy, she's tired. >> reporter: meanwhile, the "washington post" is reporting
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jared loughner, who pleaded not guilty monday to the attempted assassination of giffords, researched lethal injection, solitary confinement, and political assassination on the internet in the weeks leading to the attack, information that could show he knew the difference between right and wrong, which may hurt his ability to use insanity as a defense. back here in houston, doctors say gabrielle giffords is wresting comfortably and she needs the rest. she began physical therapy today shortly after her transfer to the rehab center. katie. >> couric: to wall street now where the dow broke through the 12,000 mark today for the first time in two and a half years. by the end of trading, the dow had fallen back some, closing just shy of that milestone, but investors do appear pleased with president obama's call in his state of the union address for lower tax rates for businesses. today, chip reid reports the president went to the mid-west to continue his push for
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job-creating innovation. >> reporter: an upbeat president obama bounde bounded e today at a factory in travis manion, wisconsin air, town on the fast track out of recession >> unemployment rate here is four points lower than it was at the beginning of last year. >> reporter: the president toured three green energy businesses here booming, in large part he said because of federal government investments in innovation. >> this is how we're going to win the future. >> reporter: the kind of investments he argued for in the state of the union address. >> the first step in winning the future is encouraging american innovation. >> reporter: but on a day when the government predicted this year's deficit will top $1.5 trillion, the highest ever, republicans condemn the president's so-called investments as nothing more than wasteful stimulus spending. the president, they note, had a long list of where to spend. >> repairing crumbling roads and bridges, high-speed rail, wind and solar. >> reporter: but he offered no new specific ideas on where to
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cut and his proposal of a five-year spending freeze is woefully inadequate. >> americans don't want spending freeze. they want cuts, dramatic cuts. >> reporter: the freeze applies only to 12% of the budget and leafs completely untouched the massive entitlement programs, medicare, medicaid, and social security, that threaten to drown the nation in debt. the president's freeze would save about $400 billion over the next decade but budget watchdog maya macguineas said that would not be must have. >> we should be saving $4 trillion. it may be more than just a drop in the bucket but just a few drops. >> reporter: why was the president's state of the union speech so thin on detail? the white house will be in intense negotiations with republicans about that for months and they don't want to show their hand any sooner than
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thatch tthey have. >> we're not going to get any more detail any time soon. >> reporter: that's right. the budget is due soon but even then most analysts believe there will be no big plans like cutting medicaid and medicare. that's going to only come when they absolutely have to do it. >> couric: white house officials told us yesterday the president didn't want to talk about gun violence last night because he wanted to give the issue a more thorough exam nition in a different forum in the near future. is the white house saying when that might be? >> reporter: they're not. robert gibbs said there's no timeline but pretty strongly inclined it will happen in the not-too-distant future. >> couric: at the state of the union address last night, many republicans and democrats crossed the aisle to sit side by side in a show of unity. well, it's the day after, and congressional correspondent nancy cordes is on capitol hill, and, nancy, what are members saying about it? was this just a one-night stand for most of them?
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>> reporter: well, katie, some members said they thought it was silly, but most of them seemed to think it was a refreshing change from business as usual ( applause ) last night's bipartisan pairings drew praisefrom the leaders of both party frk only because they were a change of pace from decades of this... >> i am, frankly, very tired of this jumping up and down and democrats jump up, the republicans don't. >> reporter: it didn't take long for members who came together last night to retreat to their battle station. >> does the gentleman have a parliamentary inquiry? >> i asked-- i didn't make a parliamentary inquiry, i asked-- >> then the gentleman is no longer recognized. >> reporter: the budget is emerging as the biggest fault line. >> we need to get our official house in order. >> reporter: when republicans proposed a constitutional amendment to require balanced budgets, democrats pounced. >> the republicans view the
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budget leek a pinata. they believe if you put on the blindfold and swing away, no matter what you hit is wasteful. >> reporter: both sides agree, entitle ams are the biggest drain. congressional budget crunchers projected today social security would begin running permanent annual deficits this year, five years earlier than expected, paying out $45 billion more in 2011 than it collects in payroll taxes. but neither party will give specifics about how to fix the problem. but who's going to go first? who's going to come out with their plan first and say, "here are the cuts we think need to be made and here's the legislation to do it?" >> we have to be very careful how we cut and paste. we should do some of the that, but we have to be careful how we do it. >> reporter: it's cleergt that neither party wants to be the first to propose reformses that could cause the appearance that they're looking at slashing medicare or social security, katie. >> couric: meanwhile, katie, house republicans held a vote today on one specific cut they favor and that's to end taxpayer funding presidential campaigns.
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what is that exactly and how much would that save? >> reporter: well, katie, this has to do with that little box you check on your income tax returns, asking if you want to spend a dollar or two to help fund presidential elections. cutting it would save about $600 million over the next 10 years but democrats are not in favor of this. they say this funding scheme helps to keep transparency in presidential elections so it's likely this cut will go nowhere in the senate. >> couric: all right, nancy cordes tonight on the capitol hill. thank you. the commission that investigated the financial meltdown has concluded it could have been avoided. the "new york times" says a report due out tomorrow finds plenty of fault to go around, including mismanagement by corporations and lax regulation by the government. it singles out fed chairman alan greenspan and ben bernanke in particular for criticism. the report also says contrary to popular belief, the government's push to increase home oenship in this country was not a major contributor to the melted down.
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meanwhile, the east is being hit by another big snowstorm, the fifth in five weeks. this one moved up from tennessee heading toward maine and could dump as much as a foot of snow in some places. this is quickly becoming one of the worst winters on record. meanwhile, clearing all those roads over and over and over again is getting very expensive. when johnson is in boston tonight. and, whit, this is a real budget buster. >> reporter: katie, absolutely. many parts of the northeast are getting hit with more feet of snow in a month than they usually get all winter. this one, this storm is now parking itself over boston and it's going to intensify overnight. >> w we can handle it but some people are wimping out with snow. >> reporter: over four feet of snow in 30 days is enough to weaken the toughest of cities. boston's snow removal budget is nearly $16 million bull but it's not even february and two-third
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of it is already gone. >> one another after, every week poop we have one or two or three eventaise week so it's a lot to deal with. >> reporter: and today's storm is adding to the misery. the snow is flying, but airlines aren't, cancelling hundreds of flights and it's just as bad on the ground. >> driving wise, it looks like it's going to be held. >> reporter: new york city has blown through its entire $snow budget. 31 inches have fallen so far and it could get blanketed with another foot overnight. >> i urge you to use extreme caution. >> reporter: connecticut has had 59 inches of snow this month alone and greenwich is $150,000 over budget. >> too much snow. >> reporter: down snow many cities don't even prepare for snow removal. the state is $4 million over budget. georgia has burned through almost all of its funds, too, much of it for atlanta. but berg an county, new jersey
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has figured out a way to save about $15,000 per storm by using pickle juice. an unconventional remedy for a winter that has been unpredictable. >> for some reason this winter, the curate models have had a hard time with these storm systems and this, like the last few, is stronger than it was originally forecast. >> reporter: and in this area, the bulk of the storm is expected to pass by midday tomorrow but it's only january, and what are typically some of the worst weeks of winter are still ahead. >> couric: okay, whit johnson. pickle juice. who by, whit. turning overseas, police in egypt couldn't stop antigovernment protests even after making nearly 900 arrests. in several cities, crowd demanded the removal of president hosni mubarak who has been in office nearly 30ize. today the white house would not say if it still supports
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mubarak, referring to him as an ally. >> reporter: before dawn o'day two of cairo's street protests, police use water cannons to clear away demonstrators spending the night in a central city square. as in the demonstrations that brought down tunisia's president, twitter and facebook have been key to organizing these protests. and today, they were partly shut down by security forces. the crowd were a little smaller, but demonstrations did spring up in several locations. young people determined to march and the police just as determined to shut them down with mass arrests and volleys of tear gas. the protesters respond by hurling rocks and setting fires. they want an end to corruption, unemployment, and police abuse. "we will stay" says this man "until the government goes." washington is watching this unrest closely, and appeared to suggest the egyptian government should respond to the
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protesters' deman demands. >> the egyptian government has an important opportunity at this moment in time to implement political, economic, and social reforms to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the egyptian people. >> reporter: it's almost midnight here in cairo, and you can smell the tear gas in the air. the city is saturated with tens of thousands of police, but in spite of the heavy-handed tactics, the demonstrators show no signs of giving up. elizabeth palmer, cbs news, cairo. >> couric: back in this country, critics say it's too vague, comics joke about it. tomorrow the obama administration will announce the color-coded terror warning system created after 9/11 is fading into history. homeland security will continue to put out public warnings when warranted, but starting in late april, the warnings will include specific information about new threats. and still ahead here on the cbs evening news, how she's helping
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kids in need help themselves with their own art work. tonight's "american spirit." but up next, stopping wwd-- walking while distracted.
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nicauraga. >> couric: driving can be particularly dangerous if you're distracted by a cell phone or the radio. but walking while distracted can be dangerous as well.
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and national correspondent jim axelrod reports there is eye new push to get us to watch where we're walking. >> reporter: the body under the tarp was a man named jason king. last month in new york, he was run over by a truck backing up. king's ipod may have drowned out the truck's warning signal. >> unfortunately, we've done such a great job reminding people about being distracted behind the wheel. one thing we haven't done is reminding people how to be a safe walker. >> reporter: a 20-year-old student was killed by a bus while jogging and listening to music. a 31-year-old california man and a 39-year-old alabama woman were both hit by trains while on their cell phones. after four straight years of declines, the latest numbers show an increase in pedestrian deaths, and the evidence suggests electronic devices may be to blame. >> you really, really need to pay attention to the street, and, again, where you're going. >> reporter: now some state lawmakers want to stop the
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music. in oregon, cyclists would be banned from using mobile phones and music players while riding. similar bills are being considered in virginia and california. in new york, a state senator wants to ban the use of the devices while crossing the street, imposing a $100 fine. >> it's absolutely necessary. as we see mounting fatalities and vehicular accidents. >> reporter: however well intentioned, the legislation raises the question-- are the police going to ticket every single person who texts on talks on the phone while crossing the street. >> i don'tment, like a bunch of cops to stop fighting crime to stop, you know, a big fat guy from listening to an ipod during lunch. i mean, what the heck? >> what's next helmets while we're walking? >> reporter: walking and texting is a part of how we live now that can sometimes border on the absurd. but as some other pictures tell us, distraction is no laughing matter. jim axelrod, cbs news, new york. >> couric: and when we come
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back, trouble in margaritaville. jimmy buffet goes over downunder.
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>> couric: ohio congressman dennis kucinich is suing a congressional calf teara. seems he chomped down on a sandwich wrap he says contained "a dangerous substance" specifically an olive pit. he's seeking $150,000 for dental expenses, pain, and suffering
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and quoting again here, loss of enjoyment. now a lesson in how not to escape from the police. in 20-year-old nicholas duffy climbed out of the window of a patrol car. one slight problem, though, it was going around 30 miles per hour. duffy got a little banged up and was quickly recaptured. singer jimmy buffet is nursing some wounds. this from tmz shows him falling from the stage. he apparently was blinded by stage let's. he gashed his head and is in stable condition tonight at a sydney hospital. a
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heavy snow continues across the metro area an some spots 4 inches per hour. we will show you live doppler and will tell he when it ends. >> couric: and timely tonight, we never know what life has in store for us. cynthia bowers has the story of a young woman hotook a trip that change her life and the lives of thousands of children as well. she's our latest example of the american spirit. >> reporter: rebecca is nothing if not determined. at age 14 the movie "karate" kid prompted the kansas city girl to take up martial arts. in just six years, by age 20, she was the world champion in tae kwon do. a former model, she also played
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an underground prizefighter in the film "fight night." rebecca's martial arts competitions took her around the world. in 2002, she went on a mission trip to honduras. it was there her life took an unexpected turn. >> i encountered a girl named daisy. she was living on the streets. she's six years old and she was literally begging for water and i'm thinking how do i live, you know, a six-hour flight from here my whole life and i had no idea this was going on. >> reporter: back home, rebecca shared daisy's story with kids in america. they were so moved, they started fund-raising. $5,000 went to orphans in mexico. soon, rebecca began to receive artwork from them as a thank you. >> we had all this art work and we decided to do an art auction and it just went over so well because we sell the piece with the child's story and it's so powerful for people to be able to connect to that. >> reporter: these are some of the people that you've helped. in 2005, rebecca formed the charity, helping art liberate
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orphans, or halo. >> we would do art therapy with the kids and it helped them learn how to communicate better and raise their self-esteem. >> reporter: currently the organization supports 11 orphanages around the world. >> the fun thing about paint is >> reporter: halo also serves more than 1,000 underprivileged kids the educational centers in cancas city and denver. last year, rebecca's charity raised more than $300,000 to support kids. >> it's about reaching out and finding people who really want to make a difference. everybody wants to do something. they just have to figure out how to do that. >> reporter: rebecca found by using her own strength, she is able to help build a strong life for others. cynthia bowers, cbs news, kansas city, missouri. >> good job! ya! >> couric: amazing artwork and an amazing young woman. ands that's the cbs evening news for tonight. i'm katie couric in new york. thank you for watching. i'll see you back here tomorrow. good night.
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